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Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock (SE)
DVD disk
Oct 8, 2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock (SE) order
Director:
Leonard Nimoy

Actors:
William Shatner
Leonard Nimoy
DeForest Kelley

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Following the death of Spock (Nimoy) in THE WRATH OF KHAN, the crew of the enterprise heads home from the Genesis planet without its beloved first officer. When Dr. McCoy (Kelley) begins acting strange, it is revealed that his mind may be inhabited by Spock's spirit and so the crew, despite Starfleet's objections, heads back to Genesis where they inadvertently run into a Klingon Bird of Prey.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Despite some lulls in the beginning and at the end, this is a more than decent follow up to the excellent STAR TREK II and one which delivers on all things Star Trek. The film starts off very slow, picking apart at details and setting up the premise for Spock's unlikely return from the planetary grave but as usual, once those dastardly Klingons decide to join the party, the action kicks into high gear, the torpedoes start flyin' and the ass gets a-kickin' and despite Shatner's return to his trademark overacting, the crew once again gives us what we want which is a puzzling cliffhanger in which each move can potentially lead them to their premature doom. It should be noted though that although there is some recap of the preceding installment at the beginning of the film, it would be very helpful to watch them in sequence as this is a direct sequel to the events caused by the dubious Khan.

The traditional crew delivers as they usually do which is to say nobody on this ship will ever carry an Academy Award into another galaxy but they're curmudgeonly enough that you can't help but feel attached and some heavily made-up appearances by entertainment missing-persons Christopher Lloyd and John Laroquette as a pair of Klingons is a treat we can all enjoy. One disappointment is the illegal substitution of Kirstie Alley as Lt. Saavik by Robin Curtis. Although Curtis gets the job done, it's always weird to see another actor play the same character. I guess Kirstie had better things to do since she turned down the role. It must have been the intense preparation for her method role in LOOK WHO'S TALKING. The rest of the supporting cast is your usual Star Trek B-actors.

The Star Trek mystique, a n engaging cast, a pretty novel storyline and a great score by James Horner are some of the elements that make this film yet another well earned notch in the Star Trek universe. Always fun to watch, they can accommodate not only the hardcore geeks but also casual Trek fans by its reputation alone, some borderline sci-fi kids. One interesting thing to note is that Nimoy was assigned direction of the film only after telling the producers that he would only accept to bring his deceased character back to life were he at the helm, which is probably one of the reasons he appears in the film for such a brief period (that, and the fact that he's dead. Nevertheless, he did a pretty good job of it and you figure if anyone will have respect for the Star Trek concepts, it's this dude. so buckle up, warm up your phasers and get ready for another fun ride on the trekkie express.
THE EXTRAS
DISC #1

Full length audio commentary by director Leonard Nimoy, writer/producer Harve Bennett, director of photography Charles Carroll and actor Robin Curtis: This is a great commentary track hosted mainly by Nimoy who was way more animated than I expected him to be and kept a great pace throughout the commentary. Bennett is also a very interesting man and he always manages to keep a good balance between discussing both the storyline and some of the cool studio stuff that goes on behind the scenes. Curtis and Carroll also handle their parts quite well and keep the same good pace overall.

Full length text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda, co-authors of The Star Trek Encyclopedia: Mike Okuda is the foremost Star Trek "Scholar" out there and his text commentaries are always a great companion to the audio track. Again, he fills in the time with trivia both about the Trek world and the movie production.

DISC #2

Terraforming and the Prime Directive (25:00): Features a fascinating discussion by two NASA scientists about the scientific and ethical possibilities of one day adapting another planet to human life, more specifically our neighbor Mars. If you're one of those people who, like me, suffers from severe sleep-deprivation due to excessive Discovery channel-watching, then this is right up your alley. There's also an author who chimes in his two bits but his pretentiousness got the better of me and I stuck to the two scientists who actually knew what they were talking about.

Captain's Log (30:00): A serious making-of featurette with a heavy focus on the Nimoy directing subplot. All the main players chime in; Nimoy himself, Shatner, Bennett, Curtis and more. It's got some interesting info but mainly, it's worth watching only for the Shatner segments in which you can attempt to play the fun game of trying to gauge the size of the man's ego. You gotta hand it to Shatner for one thing though: he may be totally conceited but the man knows hoe to entertain.

The Star Trek Universe (70:00):

Space Docks and Birds of Prey (30:00): I love models and old fashioned effects and I was definitely treated here. This is an interview with some of the ILM guys who worked on the models for all the new ships including some new ones which were introduced in this film, namely the new Starbase and the USS Excelsior. My favorite Star Trek Vessel, the Bird of Prey is also extensively discussed.

Speaking Klingon (20:00): Hosted by mega-nerd Mark Okrand, author of the English-Klingon dictionary, this feature walks us through the development of the evil language. I have to admit at a point, it got so geeky that I sort of tuned out... I do remember looking up, wiping the drool away and seeing him write some stuff down on a whiteboard. Incidentally, as much as I'm putting him down, I own a copy of the English-Klingon dictionary. please kill me...

Klingon and Vulcan Costumes (20:00): This is pretty self explanatory but a cool part was seeing some of the original sketch concepts for the Klingons' look.

Archives: Included here are storyboards for several scenes as well as two stills galleries, one for the movie and one for production.

The theatrical trailer is also included, as is a preview of Star Trek: Nemesis.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
There's no doubt that trekkies are going to scoop this up and there's no reason why they shouldn't. The film is a serious Star Trek adventure with a very original storyline and if anything, it will complete your collection. It also comes with pretty good features and nice packaging.
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